On October 4, 2019, Seton Hall's newest leadership class traveled back in time to the fateful day of September 11, 2001. They visited the World Trade Center Site, learning many things that have receded from memory and entered history.
The day began as students honored the 2,753 people, 14 of whom were Seton Hall Alumni, who perished during the tragic attacks on September 11 by walking along the reflection pools of the North and South Towers with the sun rising behind them.
Afterwards, Dr. Price led the students into the museum, beginning a learning experience unlike any other. Over the course of their time at the National September 11 Memorial Museum, these young adults learned servant leadership from one of the best teachers: history.
The Greeks defined the driving force of leadership as agapi, which is what today's society would call the love of one's fellow man. After hearing countless stories of selflessness and bravery, the students decided how they should think and act as servant leaders. One such role model is Moira Smith, the first officer to respond to the attacks and the only female NYPD officer to perish that day. She rushed in and out of the buildings multiple times to rescue as many victims as possible.
Students who visited were in awe of the grandiose and somber nature of the museum. One student in the Arts and Sciences cohort emphasized that the museum helped change his perspective of 9/11 from one of tragedy into something more positive, due to the countless stories of heroism and selflessness. It is these courageous men and women who accentuate how the brightest leaders shine in the darkest times.
These bright leaders always need a purpose, a reason for what they do, a "why." For a servant leader, their "why" is those who they lead and serve. For Bill Spade, a retired firefighter and Seton Hall Alumni who found himself in the midst of tragedy, his "why," aiding others, led him to take action. He humbly related his experience rescuing others from the towers to the Buccino students. His experience, two years in the NYPD and a tenure in the New York City Fire Department that began in 1985, helped him remain calm.
Being the only surviving member of the elite Rescue 5 team, he has taken on the task of informing the world's next generations, who will only experience the tragedy through textbooks, about the event. The most admirable traits of Bill Spade are his commitment to service and his love for others, serving as an unpaid docent at the 9/11 Museum every Friday. He, along with the tour guides and organizers, are the first people outside of the Leadership Institute to be given Leadership Challenge coins.